For consumers, third-party product reviews can be some of the most influential pieces of information during the buying consideration process.
Just think about your latest big-ticket purchase. For me, it was a pair of expensive wireless headphones. You better believe I checked out the top reviewed products on Amazon, read my most-trusted tech blogs like Engadget and even spent some time in Reddit’s r/audiophile determining the best bang for my buck.
That’s why having a rock-solid PR strategy around generating the best possible reviews is so critical. Whether you’re promoting a B2B or B2C product, here are five of our best PR tips to ensuring killer product reviews.
Choose the Top 40 Influencers
Contrary to popular belief, throwing products out to every Tom, Dick and Harry who wants to “review” them is absolutely not the right strategy. When planning for a big product launch, prepare a list of 40 deeply-researched media influencers who you know are reputable, have targeted audiences and will generate a positive review.
Why 40? Because in reality, your team should only choose the top 20 from this list. Think of it like a backup guest list at your wedding. You already paid for 150 plates of food, so you better fill those seats when people undoubtedly have to politely decline the invitation.
Having the extra 20 influencers in your back pocket makes it much easier to pull the trigger on a backup reviewer when a reporter in your top 20 has a conflict.
Want a great deep-dive into how to choose those influencers? Check out my recent blog outlining the top research strategies.
Choose Media Who Dominate Video
As detailed further in my influencers blog, video is really key for a well-rounded review strategy. Don’t just choose a publication or blog because Cision says it has high unique monthly viewers. Do a little more research and check out their YouTube presence.
Publications that have a high readership score and an equally as engaged YouTube subscriber base are a ticket to success. That means your product will get both a well-written article review and a detailed video review, doubling your SEO impact. Plus, you can more easily re-purpose video content into social media assets like animated gifs.
Over-Communicate with Product Reviewers
Experienced PR people know how to give a journalist some space. You don’t want to rush them or annoy them too much after an interview. With product reviews, it’s a bit different.
It’s usually a good idea to over-communicate with reviewers, checking up on the process and making sure there are no questions or issues. This is especially true with a complicated product with plenty of bells and whistles.
The worst thing that can happen is for a review to hit the web featuring complaints from the reporter that could have been clarified by a simple email exchange.
Strategically Promote Your Best Product Reviews
I’m not talking about promoting your best media placements on your blog or on your Twitter account. Brands need to strategically allocate advertising dollars to promote their best coverage. This not only boosts both the review and your website’s SEO rank, it draws more targeted eyes to your top coverage.
Platforms like Facebook and YouTube offer extremely (almost scary) levels of targeting when it comes to advertising. Promoting your top coverage to your exact buyers is a strategic move, as the third-party product reviews will be seen as more credible than a traditional ad.
Repurpose Absolutely Everything
So, you followed the steps above and have a solid stockpile of positive product reviews. This shouldn’t be the end, but just the beginning.
Prominently link to them on your product’s landing page, include them in email marketing campaigns, distribute them to your sales team, promote them multiple times on social media, develop quote graphics from the articles, create gifs from the videos and get creative!